Making music

Do you have a burning desire to learn to play an instrument? Does someone you know have a musical talent that needs to be tuned? If so, look no further.

Instrument and music lessons are now available courtesy of Shirley Lay who recently opened her own music school located in the Village Square complex (Road 425B and Highway 41).

Lay said it was a lifetime dream to open a music school and offer lessons to citizens of the Mountain Area, and since in recent years schools have chosen to reduce the number of instrument based classes offered in public schools Lay thought what a better time than now.

“We need music in the hills and there is a dire need in the community. Kids need music, adults need music, and it seems there is a huge void,” Lay said.

The school, which opened in June, offers and arraignment of musical options for all ages ranging from keyboard lesson, for those wanting to learn the piano, to beginning guitar.

Lay has been playing music since she was a young girl and believes it is never too late to learn to play an instrument.

“Music is great therapy for kids and it becomes a way to express themselves, gives them a way to escape. There are a lot of Motzarts out there waiting to blossom they just need some education,” Lay said.

Before going to Fresno Unified, where she currently teaches instrumental music at four different schools, Lay was part of the YHS feeder program which taught students at the elementary and middle school in the Oakhurst community.

She received her Bachelors degree in Music Education from Fresno State University and says when she is not teaching music she is playing.

Due to her work schedule classes will be available Tuesday through Friday from 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. though accommodations for special circumstances can be arranged.

By creating time later in the evening Lay believes this would give people in the area more time to complete their daily routines like work, school, and extra curricular activities.

A tentative schedule for classes is as follows:

* Tuesday - Keyboard (Piano) class

* Wednesday - Beginning Band

* Thursday - Flute Choir

* Friday - Beginning Guitar

Lay said she is not limited to teaching these classes and said anyone with a desire to learn a different instrument is encouraged to call and schedule an appointment. Lay also offers private lessons for those who desire a little more one-on-one time.

For those who are interested but find themselves without an instrument Lay said offers advise on a few stores that offer a rent-to-own type sale allowing someone to try out the instruments before buying.

For more information on available times and the costs of lessons you can contact Lay at (559) 760-7857 or go to the office between 6:30 and 7:30 Tuesday through Friday.